President Obama was scheduled to meet with 21 countries last week to discuss the war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and no Syrians were invited to attend, making it clear that the existing moderate Syrian rebels are not part of the mission.
According to The Daily Beast, the U.S. government has no near-term plans to include the Free Syrian Army or any other moderate rebel group in the military mission to fight ISIS.
An official told The Daily Beast about the meeting slated for Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C. and chaired by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey does not include any Syrian rebel partnership in the airstrikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
“We’ve said this is an Iraq-first strategy,” Col. Edward Thomas, spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “We have not yet moved to the stage in Syria where we would work with partners on the ground.”
Apparently Washington has a quick change of heart.
According to the LA Times, Washington is going to reboot the FSA despite the fact that U.S. officials have acknowledged the known problems with the rebel group and the fear that information will be leaked to the targeted militants that they have ties to.
“At this point, the intent of the coalition is to build a coherence to the Free Syrian Army elements that will give it the capacity and the credibility over time to be able to make its weight felt in the battlefield,” retired Marine Gen. John R. Allen told reporters in Washington this month.
Sen. Rand Paul who has voiced criticism of America’s foreign policy in Syria, called Washington to stop supplying rebels weapons that could fall into the hands of ISIS.
“The ultimate sad irony is that we’re forced to fight against the very weapons we send the Syrian rebels,” he said. “ISIS is stronger because of our weapons.”